Untitled Essay, Research Paper
Philosophy originated from the Greek language. It is made up of two words: “philein”which means to love and “sophia” which means wisdom. There are three fundamentalquestions in the field of philosophy which are referred to as the Existential Concerns.”What can I know?”, “What ought I to do?”, “What is the meaning of life and my place inthe universe?” These complex questions are discussed in the basic areas of philosophy. Epistemology is the theory of knowledge. The major question in this area is, whatis truth? There are various theories about the correct answer. One explanation is theCorrespondence Theory of Truth. This theorem puts forth the idea that the only real truthhas tangible evidence to back it up. For example, a witness to a crime. That person wasthe only one, other then the direct people involved who know what happened. However,religion and science are two forms that go against this theorem. Another theory is nothingis truth. This consists of the idea that we cannot know anything with certainty. Thefollowers of this theorem are usually classified as being “skeptical”. Another explanationfor truth is considered Sense Perception. Sense Perception is subjective and relative,therefore it is not a tangible form of knowledge. There is still one more form ofdetermining the truth, mathematics or Intellectual Knowledge. For example, if I were toask you to add two and three, the only true answer you could give me would be five. Theis not a subjective or relative example. Many people consider math to be a universal truth. There are various questions associated with the area of ethics. Each of them dealwith morals. Morals are defined as the right conduct or duties of a man. The firstquestion is, are there any universal moral values? Moral relativists will either deny or be infavor of the existent of universal values. One instance where I can explain this idea, iswith the Nuremberg trials of 1946. Post World War II, several top officials of the Naziregiment were put on trial for the “crimes they committed against humanities”. However,they didn’t plead guilty. Their defense was that they were simply following orders and thelaws presented by the state. Do you believe that is a suitable reason for their actions? Ifso, you believe that universal moral values do not exist. That each country and/or groupof people have separate rights and wrongs associated with their culture. On the otherhand if you feel that the Axis Powers were correct in putting these officers on trial, thenyou believe that there are basic moral values, that should be obeyed. The term for this isEqual Dignity. Therefore you believe in a Universal Justice also known as Cicero NaturalLaw Doctrine. The second question that is discussed, when speaking of ethics, is “What principlesshould guide my actions or choices?” In other words, what do I base my decisions on?Most people judge their behavior by what is good, fair or just. Others by what will bringthem pleasure. These people believe in hedonism. There are individuals that determinetheir actions by fear, self-preservation or instinct. Furthermore another question is, whatmakes a society a just one? There are two sides to this question. A major issue concernedwith this argument is the imprisonment of convicted criminals. On one hand, some peoplebelieve in retributive justice. They understand that one should repay their debt to society,if necessary. They believe in rehabilitation. On the other hand, those who believe indistributive justice are under the concept, that equal wealth is the answer to making asociety just. These people believe that everyone should be treated the same. Finally, the last question dealing with ethics is, what is the relationship betweenlaws and morality? Laws are the rules established by an authority. Many people think thatlaws should be written with the pure intent of creating and therefore, keeping a society inorder. Others feel that laws should be written with moral rights in mind. For instance thetopic of abortion. Although the law was passed that it is legal for a woman to get anabortion, many believe the law in morally wrong. These people believe that, a child is alife from conception and should have the right to live. Whether they are correct or not, isthe law a moral one? Then, the question should be asked who decides what is moral andwhat isn’t? Metaphysics is the third area of philosophy. It is the study of “the way the worldreally is”. Once again there are questions about this topic. An important question is, whatis the ultimate nature of reality? The first answer is that nature is purely physical ormaterial. Therefore everything is simply made of matter and nothing more. An exampleof this, is the brain, simply a part of our body. There is no soul present. Another answeris that nature is spiritual, being non-material. It means that we will experience reality iscompletely spiritual terms, with our soul, an example is the mind. The mind is anintellectual faculty that is in charge of our understanding, memories and opinions.Dualism is the combination of both materialism and spiritualism. It suggests nature ismade up of physical and spiritual elements. Accordingly, it also suggests that the brainand mind act as a team. Another question concerned with metaphysics is, does theuniverse have rational or moral order? Or is it simply absurd? If our universe was absurd,then there would be no goals to set, no purpose in your life. Basically, if it was true ourexistence would just be a bad joke. God is also a topic up for discussion when related to metaphysics. The questionarises of whether or not God created the world. Many cultures have a vast number ofanswers to this question, most deal with religion. The Roman Catholic and Jewishreligions+ believe a single male God created the world in seven days. Ancient Greeks andRomans believed that several female goddesses and male gods created the universe. Withthis question, the meaning of life is also pondered. Cosmology is the study of theuniverse. Various philosophers contemplate the ultimate nature of reality and the originsof the universe. The three fundamental questions in the field of philosophy, will never be answeredfully. If they were, the world would be neglected of great thinkers, philosophers, such asPlato, Socrates and Amaxander.